Scoreless after 40 minutes of hockey, the Minnesota Wild turned on the jets in the third period on Tuesday night, scoring four times in the final frame to secure a 4-0 victory over the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota.
With the win, the Wild now trail 2-1 in the best-of-seven Western Conference semifinal series.
Through the first two periods, the game played out like one that would be determined by the first goal. Both the Wild and the Blackhawks played tight defensively, blocking shots, clogging passing lanes and making life very easy for their respective goalies.
But Erik Haula finally broke through early in the third, beating Corey Crawford for the eventual game winner just 1:41 into the period.
Mikael Granlund would join him on the scoreboard less than three minutes later after a series of beautiful passes from Jason Pominville and Zach Parise.
Parise would later add a goal of his own, on the power play, with under three minutes remaining, and Granlund would salt it away with an empty-net goal just over a minute later.
Ilya Bryzgalov, the much-maligned backup starting in place of the injured Darcy Kuemper, made 19 saves to secure the shutout, his first in the playoffs for the Wild.
The now pivotal Game 4 of this series will take place on Friday evening, and the Wild will be looking to capitalize on their momentum, and even the series before it shifts back to Chicago.